Mount Diablo faces much more serious threats than a lunatic who has proposed renaming it Mount Reagan, among other monikers. A relatively large percentage of the mountain’s mass below the summit is still in private hands and susceptible to development.
To help avoid such a fate, Save Mount Diablo has been working since 1971 to purchase or place in conservatorship as much of this land as possible. The group’s mission is “to preserve Mount Diablo's peaks, surrounding foothills and watersheds through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain's natural beauty, biological diversity and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide recreational opportunities consistent with protection of natural resources.”
Julie Seelen, development manager for Save Mount Diablo, points out that in the year of her group’s founding, only the peak’s summit about 7,000 acres’ worth was off limits. Today, that number exceeds 90,000 acres, according to Seelen.
She made these and other statements at a reception at Kevin’ Milligan’s Gallery. The gallery’s current exhibit is a fundraiser for Save Mount Diablo. The exhibit features the works of 25 artists in painting, photography, mixed media, ceramics and furniture inspired by Mount Diablo. The exhibit runs through April 27.
Milligan notes that he also created “Dine for Diablo” and “Wine for Diablo” events in conjunction with the Save Mount Diablo Art Exhibition. The gallery gives some of the proceeds of the Wine for Diablo and Save Mount Diablo Art Exhibition to Save Mount Diablo. The restaurateurs gave a percentage of sales on their participating days to Save Mount Diablo. The Dine for Diablo event has concluded, he explains, but people can still contribute by purchasing art from the exhibition or purchasing wine from the gallery.
(Coincidentally, the Village Art Gallery, 233 Front Street, is also running a Mount Diablo-themed exhibit.)